The State Senate passed “The Mississippi Public Charter School Act of 2013” (SB 2189) yesterday afternoon. Senate Education Chair Gray Tollison introduced his committee’s substitute bill, which doesn’t include the virtual charter school provision that was part of the original bill. Only one amendment was approved on the senate floor, which requires the non-renewal or revocation of a charter contract for schools that earn an “F” rating for 2 consecutive years. This provision was set at 3 years in the original bill.
SB 2189 is now headed to the House of Representatives, but it appears that the House will consider their own charter school bill. Based on last year’s debate, it’s very likely that any charter bill the House would pass will have at least some differences from the Senate version. In that case, a conference committee would iron out the differences between the two versions in order to craft one bill. The “conference report” would then have to pass both chambers before going to the Governor.
As this debate continues, please visit our Charter School Resource Page, which has just been updated with links to this year’s legislation. You can also read the Mississippi First publications on the issue, including…
- Summary of “big issues” in SB 2189
- Explanation of how charter schools would be funded
- Definition of “underserved”
- Explanation of teacher quality provisions for charter schools